Yesterday, I took the NRA to task for their Wimpy Skippy Special: a petulant but not pithy letter responding to President Obama’s Sunday editorial calling for a new spirit of “commonsense” consensus on gun control. Uh, gun safety. Law enforcement. Something. Anyway, our Ralph also felt that the NRA’s response was a tad too laid back. “What the NRA should have said is that POTUS is a mealy-mouth, two-faced, obfuscating, phoney-baloney empty suit with delusions of adequacy.” To which I added, “Even less deferentially, they could have reduced it to three words. The first being ‘go’ and the last being ‘yourself.'” Just hours later . . .
Said POTUS invited the NRA to the White House for a sit down to discuss the future of gun grabbing—I mean “sound and effective steps that will actually keep those irresponsible, law-breaking few from getting their hands on a gun in the first place.” At that point, Wayne LaPierre let the Prez have it with both barrels. So to speak.
“Why should I or the N.R.A. go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States?” Wayne told the New York Times. ““It shouldn’t be a dialogue about guns; it really should be a dialogue about dangerous people.”
Ah-ha! says New York Times scribe Jackie Calmes, consensus!
Despite his opposition to joining the administration’s table, by his comments in an interview Mr. LaPierre sounded at times like the White House.
For example, a White House adviser on Monday said Mr. Obama wanted to redefine the gun debate to “focus on the people, not the guns.” The president, in his column, cited the same policy areas Mr. LaPierre mentioned as fertile ground for consensus. And Mr. Obama emphasized, “First, we should begin by enforcing laws that are already on the books” — a line long used by the gun lobby.
Don’t you just hate it when so-called journalists sound like they’re angling for a job with powerful pols? Can you say “apologia”?
Mr. Obama is trying on many issues, including deficit reduction, to stake out a middle ground that appeals to independent voters. Aides said polls showed that the gun issue was not a big one for independents, but that they did abhor political fights and favored politicians who compromise. The president played to that sentiment in his op-ed article — and anticipated the rifle association’s rebuff.
“Some will say nothing short of the most sweeping antigun legislation is a capitulation to the gun lobby,” he wrote. “Others will predictably cast any discussion as the opening salvo in a wild-eyed scheme to take away everybody’s guns.”
“But,” he added, “I have more faith in the American people than that.”
Yeah, we’re the cynical bastards. As always, I’ll let Ralph have the final word.